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Troy Life & Fire Safety Ltd
GE Security acquired Edwards in 2005. GE’s goal was for double digit growth and it was clear that in a number of locations in Canada, that simply wasn’t going to happen. So the value of twelve fire service and sales locations in low growth areas cross Canada became questionable. In addition to this, the nature of sprinkler work and its industrial environment with what they perceived as a low level of technology was also less attractive to GE.
Jim McCoubrey, General Manager for GE Security Canada, made the decision to assemble a small group of interested employees and make a bid to GE to purchase the Troy Sprinkler business along with the 12 Fire Sales and Service operations in Canadian non-metropolitan areas bringing with it 400 employees. It would be the first ever GE Security Strategic Partnership formed in Canada!
Initially this small team had to overcome financing hurdles because the major lenders on Bay St. had a hard time fitting this carve out business into the typical models they used to value businesses. With little time left from the close date, we overcame that by working with a local bank on main street Owen Sound that recognized and understood the value that the experienced team brought to the business.
The amount of resource put toward responding to numerous detailed legal document requests put forward by the GE Security legal team, the bank, the federal and provincial governments, the Insurance companies, the Bonding company, etc. were daunting. Our small team worked long hours and took on many additional responsibilities to come together and build the necessary information to close the deal. Many times Jim was close to the final step only to learn that GE required yet another unexpected document or explanation or money. Attempting a carve out such as this, from such a significant player as GE was not for the faint of heart. Additional challenges were encountered when promises by GE Security to support our initial payroll, operating system setup, and shared head office space for a period of time did not come through. In one critical example the team was told by GE that they would not do the weekly payroll for over 250 of our hourly employees, the team came together and worked around the clock to quickly source and implement a solution to pay our people. Overcoming numerous challenges and delays immediately drove home the benefit of being a small privately owned entity that could come together, brainstorm, and go away with the solution
Troy Life & Fire Safety Ltd is a privately owned Canadian company that offers a comprehensive lineup of fire alarm, fire suppression, communications, nurse call and security products, backed by coast-to-coast service and a talent team exceeding 650. An authorized distributor of the Simplex line from Tyco Fire Protection Products, Troy provides life safety and property protection for any application.